Literature The Identity Issue

Poem: The shapeshifter

"I wear a mask that's invisible...I wear it so I'm beautiful."

This poem is brought to you by Dr. Rocco’s Specialized Dental Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE..

Words by Mohammed Shehab

Illustration by Rama Duwaji

I wear a mask that’s invisible.

It’s present, but it’s impalpable.

I wear it so I’m beautiful,

In my skin so comfortable,

In my head so capable.

I wear a mask. It hides my eyes.

I wear it so well, I disguise…

Disguise the truth and all the lies…

To hide the tears and all the cries…

To drown the screaming and the sighs.

I change the mask to try to find

A safety wall to stand behind…

A great escape, a peace of mind.

A box where secrets are confined.

A state where thoughts are so refined.

I wear a mask just like a shield,

My armor in the battlefield.

The only weapon I can wield.

I wear it so my wounds are healed.

From all the danger, I’m concealed.

I change the mask. I change the face.

For every time and every place…

Fit in the crowd, the human race.

I play the role they might embrace,

Fulfill the norm, keep up the pace.

I change one mask and a new mask is born…

And I’m not sure it’s one I haven’t worn.

So I take it off and try to change back

To my primal form, but I’ve lost track…

I shuffle through and try them all,

But nothing seems to fit at all.

Perhaps the only change to make…

The only risk I have to take…

Is to find the real, destroy the fake…

Take down the walls I need to break…

Destroy the mask and stay awake.

No longer will I be a rover.

I settle down, I take a breather.

I’m finally home, I’m finally sober.

The mask is off…

The play is over.

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